An online devotional for writers
The end of a matter is better than its beginning. (Ecclesiastes 7:8, NIV)
As an experiment, think back to last week’s sermon … or the one before that. What do you remember that sticks with you?
Often, I find myself saying, “He opened with a story about his kids, but I forget what came next,” or “At the end he gave a challenge about patience, but I don’t recall the particulars.”
Do you relate?
If so, you’re not alone.
In psychology, it’s called the Serial Position Effect. That’s a fancy term for, “people remember openings and closings the best, but are less likely to remember the information in the middle.”
This is an important piece of information for me, as a writer, to use.
But I tend to give less importance to writing a strong finish.
What a missed opportunity! Not to mention quite unfair to my reader.
Solomon says, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning.”
The hook and the body have been leading my reader to this moment. She has stuck with me this long. It is at this stage – the end – that I can give her a reward, a nugget of wisdom, a culmination, an “ah ha,” a truth … a practical or useful takeaway.
That kind of ending lasts longer and gets put to use. Which makes it better than the beginning.
Finish strong. Give your reader a useful takeaway.
Help me to focus on making my point memorable to my reader. Show me how to finish strong so she has a takeaway she can use.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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